With “My WSJ,” The Wall Street Journal Makes a Personalized Content Feed Central to Its App
When you think about the apps you most commonly use on your phone, a lot of them have one thing in common: They need you to be any good. Facebook, Spotify, your email and calendar apps — none of them are really of any use without your login.
“Take you out of these apps and they become useless,” said Phil Izzo, the deputy chief news editor at The Wall Street Journal. And so when, in recent months, the Journal began redesigning its mobile app, personalization was one of the most important considerations. The ultimate result, released in an iOS 11 update last month, was My WSJ, a feed that’s the second panel after the homescreen and that uses AI to offer a customized list of stories based on users’ previous reading habits.
“We wanted to see how we can thread general app trends into the Journal’s app,” said Jordan Sudy, the Journal’s iOS product director. “People are used to scrolling feeds; the dwell time in the feed has gotten longer — we see people spending a long time in the feed now, relative to what they used to do. People are also getting more and more accustomed to AI recommendations, and we’re seeing that the core Journal reader is interested in AI-generated content, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of what the newsroom is giving them.”